Water uses pressure to circulate itself among the various faucets and fixtures in your household. Without an adequate amount of pressure, the water might only come out as a trickle in your faucets. When the pressure level is too low, it could be difficult for the water to reach certain fixtures within your home. High pressure is especially needed to operate the water flow on the upper floors.
However, excessive amounts of water pressure can also damage your plumbing system. Just as too much air in a balloon causes it to pop, high water pressure flowing throughout your home has similar consequences. Some of the innocuous plumbing problems may originally come from high water pressure in your house.
During an inspection, a professional plumber can detect the sudden signs of having high water pressure in your house. Similarly, you may be able to identify these warning signs when the water pressure is too high:
Sign #1: Water Hammer
A water hammer describes the scary banging noise from your pipes, caused by a heavy flow of water that comes to a sudden halt. This noise occurs when plumbing fixtures stop water abruptly in its tracks, such as turning off a faucet. As a result, a shock wave travels through the plumbing system. The strong vibrations create a shuddering sound in your pipes, as your plumbing tries to adapt to the change in water pressure.
The water hammer noise is a common sign of high water pressure in your plumbing systems. In normal circumstances, shutting off the flow of water or flushing a toilet should not produce any strange sounds. If you are greeted by a clanging, banging, or shuddering sound in your walls after each usage, your home’s water pressure is too high. If not fixed promptly, you may soon have to deal with leaks in your plumbing system.
Sign #2: Leaking Pipes
High water pressure is like filling a balloon with excessive air, which causes extra strain on your pipes and plumbing systems. In extreme cases, high water pressure could result in a catastrophic failure that bursts a section of your piping. Consequently, your home could be flooded in minutes, causing massive damages.
At other times, high water pressure may cause a small gap or pinhole in the pipes, where water slowly seeps out. These leaking pipes are the toughest to detect because they don’t produce any noise and often occur in difficult-to-reach areas. Leaks are usually rare when the water pressure is around 60 PSI. If you deal with leaks all the time, check to confirm the water pressure is not too high for your plumbing system.
Sign #3: Leaking Fixtures
If you have a faucet that frequently drips for no reason, or your toilet turns on and refills even when it hasn’t been in use, your fixtures are probably leaking. The leaks are usually a result of the seals and rubber gaskets wearing out. These issues are generally easy to fix by replacing the old worn-out parts. If the leaks persist after replacement, that means water is likely entering your fixtures at a high pressure.
Too much water pressure will wreak havoc on your plumbing fixtures, which is an expensive consequence of a straightforward problem. When you notice the water pressure is unusually high, contact a plumber to examine your fixtures and root out the potential issues.
Sign #4: Higher Water Bills
If your water bills have been too high for seemingly no reason, this could be a sudden sign of having high water pressure in your house. When you use a typical faucet with a water pressure of about 50 PSI, you’ll be using 30 gallons of water per minute. However, if the pressure increases by just 10 PSI, your water usage rises to 36 gallon per ten minutes. That is six extra gallons of water down the drain, literally!
Some homes have a water pressure of between 80 and 100 PSI, which translates into 15 extra gallons of wasted water every ten minutes from the same faucet. A trend like this will increase your water bill by hundreds of dollars per year.
Sign #5: Short Hot Water Supply
Another sign of having high water pressure is when the hot water gets used up too quickly. Water heaters are designed to handle water at a specific rate, so they can compensate for used water while maintaining a consistent temperature. Once the tank empties, it fills up quickly if your water pressure is high. As a result, cold water overwhelms the hot water, leading to a limited supply of hot water whenever you need it.
High water pressure could also mean a shorter lifespan of your water heater, which keeps heating water after incomplete cycles. As a result, your water heater may wear out more quickly with frequent use in the winter months.
Sign #6: Noisy Appliances
If your dishwasher is unexpectedly loud, or your washing machine makes a huge ruckus, these are signs of having high water pressure in your house. The mechanical pieces and seals, which are essential to the operation of these appliances, will wear out faster when forced to handle high water pressure. The result is extra strain, more noise, and a shorter lifespan of your household appliances.